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Why can't I tolerate Carbs?

By December 13, 2009 - 11:08am
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I wonder why I was able to eat foods that had carbs for years and in the last 6 years I am not able to eat carbs without having total hypoglycemic reactions. This has become such a bother for me. I have gone to 5 endocronologist and they say they have no idea what the problem is since my blood work reads normal. This is a reactive hypoglycemia I have after eatting the carbs. I am fine with veggies and berries that barely have carbs or cheeses and eggs which also have tiny amounts. But if I dare eat popcorn, of whole grain bread or Irish oats cereal or low glycemic carbs or any other carbs I get a bad reaction. Of course I could just avoid these foods but I want to get to the bottom of this problem. My thyroid bloodwork and celiac disease are normal. What could be causeing this problem? Is there a way to fix it so I can tolerate carbs? Please help. Thank you.

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EmpowHER Guest

Just about the time I turned 40, I am 53 now, I started feeling poisoned whenever I ate carbs. My mother is Italian and this was a problem for me on Sundays. I get a severe hypoglycemia about 1.5 hours after eating them, less severe as the day goes on, I suspect some sort of diurnal aspect to that. For every day I go off my low carb diet I get more and more fatigued and develop muscle and joint pain. Within 3 days of going no carb I feel like I am 20 again. Had every test under the sun, no celiac, no allergy, no diabetes (although it runs in my family). For all the doctors and testing the answer I got was.. Don't eat carbs. Try doing that forever, it isn't easy and my wife goes nuts trying to cook for me. Any ideas would be appreciated.

October 17, 2010 - 4:18pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Anon - You can find more information and some ideas on steps you can take at this link: http://www.empowher.com/community/ask/why-am-i-having-problem-carbs-michelle-robson-personally-sent-me
Good luck! Pat

October 18, 2010 - 5:20pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Richmanlopez/Samantha - It looks like your question was posted twice, and Dr. Tenny provided an answer here. http://www.empowher.com/community/ask/why-am-i-having-problem-carbs-michelle-robson-personally-sent-me

Can you let us know if you have the information you need, or if you need more help. Thank you. Pat

February 1, 2010 - 7:02pm

Hi, RichmanLopez,

I'm working on your question too. It's a tough one!

You didn't mention how old you are?

Are you overweight, or underweight?

Do you have this problem with beans? potatoes?

Do you have much fiber in your diet?

Are you an athlete?

And are you on any medications?

And I assume that there's no real pattern to when you have this glycemic reaction other than after you've eating the carbs? In other words, it doesn't happen only after exercise, or usually in the morning, or anything like that?

Hang with us here as we try to research this for you!

February 1, 2010 - 9:55am


Was anybody able to find any answers?

:) Samantha

December 17, 2009 - 9:05am

Great to hear back from you!

Thanks for the additional information--we will research your question and get back to you soon.

December 13, 2009 - 1:56pm

Thanks, I do not have any other medical conditions.

I get hunger irritable, shakiness, nervousness, dizzines,s light-headedness, sleepiness, confusion, difficulty speaking, anxiety and weakness.

This happens like clockwork about an hour and a half every time after I eat carbs that provide a spike in blood sugar.

I have eaten the carbs with and without out foods such as proteins, fats and balanced them and then did not balance them. I have tried all food combinations with the carbs and always get the samer reaction and symptoms that I listed above from the carbs.

The carbs that bother me are from sugar, refined starches, potatoes, corn, bananas, mangos and the like. Very low sugar and low carb foods like berries, lettuce, broccoli, califlower and similar foods, do not trigger a reaction since they do not bother my blood sugar. Something like brown rice would set me off into bad symptoms since the carb load is high enough to trigger a insulin spike in me. I do not have diabetes and my resting blood sugar reading is around 72. Please let me know if I need to provide any other information. :)

December 13, 2009 - 1:54pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to richmanlopez)

I am having similar symptoms, but I wasn't sure if it was necessarily tied to carbs. At first I thought it was tied to caffeine, so I gave up caffeine. I am hungry all the time, and it just seemed that I was nauseated after eating. I had two episodes where I was extremely nauseated, dizzy, and numbish. I would also seem to get overheated very easily, or if I was hot it would make me more uncomfortable. I'm only 30 so I don't think I'm going through menopause. I went to the endocrinologist and he didn't find anything wrong. Blood sugar readings and TSH were normal. I still don't know what's going on.

February 24, 2010 - 12:36pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon - You may find some of the answers you're seeking here:

February 24, 2010 - 5:26pm

Thanks for your question, and we will look into this further for you.

Can you describe what this "reaction" is that you have? What symptoms do you experience in detail (what, when, where, how often, duration, etc).

Since your blood work has come back normal, are you open to the possibility that your "reactions" could be triggered by something else? In other words--why do you believe it is caused by foods that contain carbohydrates (and, only certain carb-containing foods), as could there be other explanations, too? (The breads, popcorn or cereal that you consume...perhaps these are being paired with other foods or other situations that the veggies & berries are not?).

Either way, we can offer some information if you can provide more detail explaining what your reactions are; I am unsure of what you are experiencing specifically when you say, "total hypoglycemic reactions" or "bad reaction".

Do you have any other medical conditions, and have your doctors been able to provide any clues or suggestions for you?

Hope to hear back from you soon!

December 13, 2009 - 1:25pm
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